The Virtual Palava Hut: Building a Global Community of Learning

When I’m not dreaming about vintage Shastas and shiny Airstreams, I’m an instructional designer and training facilitator for a social development NGO, FHI 360 ( FHI 360 is part of LINGOs (Learning in NGOs), a consortium of 75 international humanitarian relief, development, conservation, and health organizations that provides learning technologies and courses from partners so non-profits can increase skills of their employees, and therefore increase the impact of their programs. The LINGOs folks are some of my favorite people ever, and I guest blogged for them recently. I would love for you to check it out!

Impact through Learning

Guest Post By Paige Layno Winn, FHI 360


In some African countries, the Palava Hut is the central space for social networking, informal learning, and conflict resolution. It’s a place that welcomes locals and guests alike. It’s the cultural hub of a village—a place that promotes dialogue between people of diverse opinions, backgrounds, and cultures.

How do you create community in a virtual learning space?

You might say that an NGO’s training classroom is like a Palava Hut—the organizational learning hub. So how do you create that same sense of community in a virtual learning space?  The Learning and Development (L+D) team at FHI 360 has been working on creative ways to do just that.

This year, we launched a series of live, virtual learning events called Cross-Sector Cafés—regular one-hour interactive discussions led by country offices and staff from across FHI 360’s 11 practice areas. Facilitators lead sessions held…

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